I recognized young Herzog a bit later than I could have. Being an important part of the Welsh Serein-collective, he contributed a wonderful piece of electro-acoustic ambient for the second label compilation OIO which, in a whole, was enjoyed a lot at the 12rec. world headquarter. We got the Crepusculum EP in the pipe and planned to add a remix to give Fred Batys' folklore music a decent electric twist. So we got in contact with Bill Bawden a.k.a. Herzog. His idea of transforming analogue sounds into short-form ambient-compositions fit our intentions perfectly.
After the great success of 12rec.036 back in December 2006, Bill told us about some new stuff he was preparing for a future release. In addition to the songs on both of the Serein -samplers he had two EPs online and we were happy to have the man for a special 12rec-release. Ocean! Be our Blanket consists of eight relatively short pieces each built around a single musical element or sound-idea. For In the Background, Secret Armies Bill distills the cozy melancholia of a delayed piano-motive with warm cracklings and low-key synthesizers. Woke Up Surrounded by Enemies has a rather ominous feel. You'll recognize the beautiful noises (some kind of Herzog-trademark), but there are no ‘real' instruments to be heard. Bubbling loops of synth-drones interfere, swell up and fade like a bad dream. The piano is back at Here Come Our Fathers afterwards. Bill opens his sound-repertoire a bit and shifts microscopic loops and distorted vocal samples in the wide echo chamber of his piano strokes. Listen to Adjusting to the Light to catch Herzog fusing guitar- or harp-sounds with some well-defined rhythmic elements. Crisp! If you want to hear one of my odd comparions- think of Pharrell Williams remixing Gastre Del Sol. Huh?
Warm, quite focused, hypnotic and neat. Herzog delivers a beautiful study on sound and structure that surprises with emotional discernibility and uniqueness. An experimental release for 12rec. after so much popmusic recently, but a record you shouldn't have missed.
May 27, 2008 Subject:
This album is seriously good with such delicate sounds you really feel like you are hiding under your morning blanket. Then again, it truly does feel like you are being washed out at sea - perfection and my new summer soundtrack for travelling!